History with Music Studies, MA

History with Music Studies, MA

Introduction

History with Music Studies at Aberdeen is a great combination, adding to your study of all aspects of human activity in the past with the opportunity to study, compose and perform alongside world-renowned composers and musicologists, working in all genres, styles and periods of history. You will have unrivalled opportunities to grow as a musician and performer and acquire the skills for a wide range of careers related to history, music, or applied in another sector.

Study Information

At a Glance

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MA
Duration
48 months
Study Mode
Full Time
Start Month
September
UCAS Code
V1W3

You will be enthused and inspired by teachers who are leaders in their fields, with expertise as diverse as medieval Scandinavia, early-modern Poland and modern East Asia and enthralled by our wonderful collections of historic treasures collected by distinguished alumni over the centuries.

Aberdeen is the ideal environment and location to study music, with 500 years of musical history and heritage and a vibrant cultural identity, which celebrates the traditional while embracing the modern.

In Music Studies, you can develop your interests and abilities in music through courses in performance, composition, theory, musicianship and history of music, taking advantage of the outstanding quality of our teachers, instruments and facilities and many opportunities to perform.

In addition to a career in music, the academic skills you will develop will open opportunities in education, history and heritage, or applied in another sector such as media or business and internationally.

What You'll Study

Year 1

Compulsory Courses

Academic Writing for Divinity, History & Philosophy (AW1007)

This compulsory evaluation is designed to find out if your academic writing is of a sufficient standard to enable you to succeed at university and, if you need it, to provide support to improve. It is completed on-line via MyAberdeen with clear instructions to guide you through it. If you pass the evaluation at the first assessment it will not take much of your time. If you do not, you will be provided with resources to help you improve. This evaluation does not carry credits but if you do not complete it this will be recorded on your degree transcript.

Making History (HI1027)

15 Credit Points

This course will introduce students to the subject of university level history. Team taught lectures will introduce students to approaches, sources, and the dilemmas facing academic historians.

Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD1002)

This course, which is prescribed for level 1 undergraduate students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.

Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.

Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.

Digital Musicianship: Music Making in the Digital Age (MU1058)

15 Credit Points

Combining key components in digital technology and musicianship, Digital Musicianship encourages music students to acquire basic digital skills that will help them explore a wide range of music making in the 21st century, through skill building in the applications of technology to the discipline of Music. This hands-on, project-based course introduces basic knowledge in digital music technology, and key issues related to the music making in the 21st century.

Optional Courses

Select AT LEAST ONE of the courses listed below, subject to the necessary pre-requisites:

MU 1035 Key Moments 1

MU 1535 Key Moments 2

MU 1027 Performing and Composing 1

MU 1527 Performing and Composing 2

Select a further 30 credit points from level 1 courses in History and/or Art History, plus further credit points from courses of choice to gain a total of 120 credits.

Please note that performance courses are available only after a successful audition. MA students audition at the beginning of an academic session and should ensure that they select an audition time when registering online, or contact the Music Office (MacRobert, room 003) to arrange one.

Performing and Composing 1 (MU1027)

15 Credit Points

This course will engage students in practical music making, developing skills in performing and composing. Students will receive 10 hours of tuition with a specialist instrumental / vocal tutor, and attend lectures on genre, performance style, composing / arranging techniques, rehearsal etiquette, and stagecraft.

In groups of 5-8 performers, students attend a series of rehearsal sessions, where they will plan and manage a group creative project, culminating in a 10-minute performance as part of a mini festival in December.

Students will be expected to attend concerts, join an ensemble, and participate in occasional workshops.

Performing and Composing 2 (MU1527)

15 Credit Points

Building on “Performing and Composing 1”, this course will guide students to developing their own range of interests in creative musical practice. Students will work towards a portfolio of creative outputs, which can include a range of compositions and musical arrangements, and recordings of solo / ensemble performances.

Students receive 10 hours of one-to-one tuition on their chosen instrument / voice, and attend lectures and tutorials focussing variously on issues related to performance, composition, and music technology.

Year 2

Optional Courses

Select 60 credit points from available level 2 courses in History, 30 credit points from Music courses at level 2 and 30 credit points from courses of choice.

Year 3

Compulsory Courses

Thinking History (HI356J)

30 Credit Points

This course looks at how history is written. It considers the problems involved in studying and explaining the past, and the many dilemmas faced by historians in reconstructing it. By examining the ways in which history has been written from the Ancient Greeks to Postmodernism, it considers the limits of historical study, asks whether history can ever be a science, and reveals the assumptions behind the various approaches to history that inform its writing. It is designed to provide honours history students with an essential understanding of what they are doing when they study history.

Optional Courses

Plus 60 credit points of level 3 History courses, which may include one of the following approved courses.

Plus, select 30 credit points from level 3 courses in Music.

NOTE: You are required to gain a total of 150 credit points in History across levels 3 and 4, and a total of 90 credit points in Music across levels 3 and 4.

Materialising Faith: Women, Art and Religion, 1150 - 1500 (AH3003)

30 Credit Points

From Hildegard of Bingen to Isabella D’Este, women played a defining role in the commissioning, making and experiencing of devotional art and architecture. This course explores the opportunities nuns, sisters, mystics, wives and widows had to express their faith, status and power by material means. Equally it focuses on the way in which such devotional works could shape women’s visions and modes of contemplation. Case studies are drawn from across Europe, with a primary focus on Italy and Germany during the period 1150-1500.

Reformation, Reason & Revolt: Church, Politics & Theology (DR302D)

30 Credit Points

The European Reformation was a time of immense ecclesiastical, social, intellectual and political transformation that changed the religious and cultural landscape of the West forever. By way of regular seminars, this course draws students into detailed exploration of critical events, developments, ideas and debates of this tumultuous period in history to consider the nature of the transformations which it bequeathed to subsequent centuries up to and including our own.

History of Medicine (ME33HM)

30 Credit Points

The course will involve each student working individually on a historical project of his or her own choice, under the supervision of the course co-ordinator.

Students will be required to produce a research proposal and progress reports, to prepare an essay and make a presentation of their findings to the class. The aim of the option is to give students the opportunity to research and present, individually, in spoken and written forms, a history of medicine topic of their own choice, using both primary and secondary sources.

The Twelfth - Century Renaissance (AH3505)

30 Credit Points

The twelfth century was a period defined by upheaval and innovation, when ancient learning and new ideas combined to transform European society across the continent. This course explores the artistic dimension to cultural, social, and political change, and brings marginalised communities into focus. We will draw on a range of sources, including manuscripts, architecture, stained glass and metalwork to understand a range of lived experiences, from isolated monks to Jewish communities.

Art & Society in 18th Century England (HA3512)

30 Credit Points

This course examines English art across the eighteenth century, addressing a range of genres, from portraiture and historical narratives, to sporting art and political satires. We consider where and how such art was encountered, in public exhibitions, private homes, pleasure gardens and shop windows. Artists studied include William Hogarth, Thomas Gainsborough, James Gillray and Anglica Kauffman.

Year 4

Optional Courses

Select ONE of the following dissertation options:

  • Dissertation in History (HI4516)
  • Dissertation in Music (MU4049) AND History in Practice II (HI4518)

Also, select ONE History Special Subject (listed below), plus further credit points from level 3 or 4 courses in Music to gain 60 credits in the discipline.

NOTE: You are required to gain a total of 150 credit points in History across levels 3 and 4, and a total of 90 credit points in Music across levels 3 and 4. You are required to gain a minimum of 90 credit points from level 4 courses.

Undergraduate Dissertation in History (HI4516)

30 Credit Points

The undergraduate dissertation is the final-year major research undertaking, based on primary and secondary material and providing a critical analysis of a specific subject chosen by the student. It is obligatory for Single Honours students, whereas Joint Honours students choose to write their dissertation in either of the two subjects. After initial sessions about the nature of the dissertation and research approaches, students develop a topic with the help of a member of staff, who will also supervise their project throughout.

Dissertation in Music (MU4049)

30 Credit Points

This course will entail research work which will contribute to musicological understanding (at undergraduate level). Students will research a topic of their own choice (subject to approval), demonstrating knowledge and understanding of their chosen subject matter in the form of a 10,000 word dissertation.

History in Practice (HI4518)

30 Credit Points

History is not simply a dry, academic study of the past; it shapes a host of contemporary political, economic and cultural attitudes and is a central underpinning to the tourist and heritage industries - now one of the largest sectors of employment among mature western economies. This course is designed to give a critical understanding of the theoretical and practical links (as well as clear distinctions) between the practice of 'academic' History and 'public' History. This is done by having students assess how heritage and tourist businesses project a particular version of the past.

Special Sub.: the Scottish Wars of Independence, 1286 - 1328 (HI4009)

30 Credit Points

In 1286 Alexander III of Scotland was found dead at the foot of a cliff and Scotland was engulfed in a period of political instability and eventually war that was to have a profound impact on the future development of the British Isles. The course considers key stages of the ‘wars of independence’ period in chronological sequence until the final triumph of Robert I in 1328. Due consideration will be given to international perspectives in trying to understand the Anglo-Scottish struggle, notably in relation to Ireland, France, Flanders and the Papacy.

Special Sub.: Britain and Revolutionary Russia 1917 - 1924 (HI4012)

30 Credit Points

This course explores Britain's relations with Russia during the early years of the Soviet regime. It highlights a series of key developments in the relationship, especially major changes in British government policy that charted a course from military intervention to diplomatic recognition. Most of the seminars trace an aspect of the relationship within a fairly short time-frame, but some seminars investigate a particular issue through the whole period 1917–24. Several sessions will be used specifically for analysing gobbets. Knowledge of the Russian language is not required.

Special Subject: Morality & Sexual Mores in the Classical World (HI401C)

30 Credit Points

The modern West relies heavily on the Classical World in its art, architecture, law, and ideas. However, this is often filtered through later, Christian re-working. This course will try to understand the morals and mores of the Ancient World in their own, pagan context through an examination of its views, in particular, on sex and sexuality. The course will deal with sensitive topics including: sexual violence, prostitution, perceived concepts of deviance, capital punishment and the (mis)treatment of children.

Special Subject: History of the Israeli Palestinian Conflict (HI4025)

30 Credit Points

The course examines the origins of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its developments from multiple angles in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the complex dynamic that constitutes ‘the conflict’. The course will investigate the causes of the Palestinian refugee crisis and of the Arab-Israeli wars. It will introduce students to the Arab-Israeli peace process and familiarise students with the polarised historiography surrounding the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Special Subject: Atlantic Encounters: Western Africa and Portugal (HI405W)

30 Credit Points

This course explores the relations between Portugal and Western Africa in the early modern period. It focuses on the period from 1415 to 1670 in which Portugal became the first European maritime power to establish contacts with societies in West and West Central Africa. Key themes include maritime navigation, Afro-European trade, and cultural contact. Particular focus will be placed on African responses and indigenous perspectives on European cultural contact.

Special Subject: the Black Radical Tradition (HI406C)

30 Credit Points

'The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.’ So declared African American intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois at the dawn of that era.

In the period since this influential claim was made – and indeed in our own time – Black-led movements have challenged multiple structures of domination (racism, colonialism, patriarchy, capitalism) in the Americas, Africa, and Europe. This module focuses on the intellectual history of these transformative movements using the framework of a “Black Radical Tradition”.

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Students are assessed by any combination of three assessment methods:

  • Coursework such as essays and reports completed throughout the course.
  • Practical assessments of the skills and competencies they learn on the course.
  • Written examinations at the end of each course.

The exact mix of these methods differs between subject areas, years of study and individual courses.

Honours projects are typically assessed on the basis of a written dissertation.

Why Study History with Music Studies?

Why History

  • Teaching rated ‘Highly Satisfactory’ in the last national Teaching Quality Assessment, and with student satisfaction of 95% – way above the national average of 86%.
  • Particular strengths in Irish and Scottish studies, Scandinavia, late medieval/early modern period, and research centres studying global empires, history and philosophy of science, technology and medicine, and Russian and Eastern European history.
  • The inspiration of our beautiful historic campus in Old Aberdeen, where King’s College Chapel, begun in 1495 by University founder Bishop Elphinstone, is a treasure-house of history and religious turbulence.
  • Major international treasures including 7,000 early printed books, the magnificent 12th century Aberdeen Bestiary, large Jacobite collection, works of the Scottish Enlightenment, and fascinating local records dating from the middle ages.
  • A packed campus programme of student and public events, exhibitions, seminars, invited speakers and the annual May Festival which welcomes world-famous authors, broadcasters and personalities including well-known historians to campus every spring.
  • Spectacular, award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library, combining top-class study facilities with state-of-the-art technology, and an online catalogue giving you access to thousands of books and millions of journal articles on the web.

Why Music

  • Our academic staff are internationally recognised experts in composition, performance, musicology, music education and music and communities, including royal composer Paul Mealor and other rising stars.
  • The University has a full Symphony Orchestra, Chamber and Chapel choirs with growing international reputations, Choral and Opera Societies, and consorts and ensembles across all instruments.
  • Specialist facilities include state-of-the-art studios for electroacoustic music, as well as a collection of historic instruments including a 1771 Kirkman harpsichord.
  • Excellent performance venues and opportunities, with our early sixteenth-century Chapel often used for services and performances of sacred and concert music, with a magnificent Aubertin organ - the first in the UK.
  • Opportunities to perform at ceremonies, graduations, recitals, and the annual May Festival for talented students in Scottish traditional and classical instruments, and vocalists.
  • The prestigious Ogston Music Prize, and a range of scholarships and special support for students with outstanding talent.
  • Three state-of-the-art Electroacoustic Composition studios as well as a number of Music Technology workstations.
  • Aberdeen city known as a lively centre for music, with links to the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Aberdeen City Music School, North East of Scotland Music School, and the region's growing Sound festival.
  • Masterclasses with leading musicians and the annual May Festival which showcases Aberdeen talent welcomes internationally acclaimed choirs, orchestras and musicians to campus every spring.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.


General Entry Requirements

2023 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who have achieved BB, and who meet one of the widening participation criteria are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

2024 Entry

SQA Highers

Standard: AABB

Applicants who have achieved AABB (or better), are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/ Advanced Highers may be required.

Minimum: BBB

Applicants who have achieved BBB (or are on course to achieve this by the end of S5) are encouraged to apply and will be considered. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will normally be required.

Adjusted: BB

Applicants who achieve BB over S4 and S5 and who meet one of the widening access criteria are guaranteed a conditional offer. Good performance in additional Highers/Advanced Highers will be required.

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

A LEVELS

Standard: BBB

Minimum: BBC

Adjusted: CCC

More information on our definition of Standard, Minimum and Adjusted entry qualifications.

International Baccalaureate

32 points, including 5, 5, 5 at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate

5H with 3 at H2 AND 2 at H3.

Entry from College

Advanced entry to this degree may be possible from some HNC/HND qualifications, please see www.abdn.ac.uk/study/articulation for more details.

The information displayed in this section shows a shortened summary of our entry requirements. For more information, or for full entry requirements for Arts and Social Sciences degrees, see our detailed entry requirements section.


English Language Requirements

To study for an Undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.0 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 5.5; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 78 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 59 with: Listening - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency:

OVERALL - 169 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 162; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

Fee information
Fee category Cost
RUK £9,250
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
EU / International students £20,800
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year
Home Students £1,820
Tuition Fees for 2024/25 Academic Year

Scholarships and Funding

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who pay tuition fees may be eligible for specific scholarships allowing them to receive additional funding. These are designed to provide assistance to help students support themselves during their time at Aberdeen.

Additional Fees

  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

Careers

There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Our Experts

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

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Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX

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